Fritz Wuessing (born July 30, 1888 in Coswig ; † October 18, 1980 in Erlangen ) was a German specialist in German studies , historian and educator . During the Weimar Republic he was one of the few social democratic directors of high schools . He was committed to the school reform and wrote influential textbooks in which he was one of the first textbook authors to place German history in the context of European development.
Studies and military service
Wuessing was born as Fritz Wuestling, son of the businessman Hugo Wuestling. He attended the community school in Dessau and the Latina of the Francke Foundations in Halle (Saale) . After graduating from high school in 1907, he studied German, history and philosophy in Halle (Saale) and Munich . He received his doctorate in 1911 on Tiecks William Lovell under Philipp Strauch . In 1912 he passed the examination for teaching at secondary schools for the subjects of history, German and philosophical propaedeutics . He completed his time as a seminar candidate and trial candidate in Berlin. From September 1914 to January 1915 and from July 1917 to October 1918 he was a teacher at the upper secondary school and higher commercial school of the evangelical parish in Bucharest .
Reform pedagogue during the Weimar Republic
Since November 1, 1918, Wuessing taught at the Städtische Realschule II in Berlin-Charlottenburg . In 1923 he took over the management of the municipal reform secondary school with upper secondary school in Berlin-Reinickendorf . At the same time he was the head of department for German, history and geography at the seminar connected with the school for the training of student trainees. As one of the few principals of higher schools in Prussia with a social democratic orientation, he defended the new Prussian curriculum against conservative critics in the Philologenblatt.
Wuessing later recalled his time as head of the specialist seminar:
"Education of the educators - what a beautiful, but also what a difficult task! We were dealing with mature, idiosyncratic people. The Weimar Republic was still fighting for its recognition, especially in large parts of the German leadership. Your democratic objective was a matter of the heart for us as trainers at the specialist seminar. How, however, could we bring our civic responsibility to an obligatory experience in the trainee lawyers without abusing our authority? We took the spirit of a real 'Pedagogical Province' seriously, to train the youth entrusted to us to be free people who should learn to recognize only one authority: the voice of their conscience. But we also did not close our eyes to the deep problems that lie in this objective. Because the content of the conscience is not unanimous among the different types of people. [...]
Carried by the insight into this essential side of history and inspired by the will to religiously and morally bound freedom of choice, we exercised tolerance towards our trainee teachers and taught them, for their part, the same leadership attitude in their teaching as in every encounter with young people outside of school hours to preserve without falling into pure value relativism on the other hand. "
In 1921 Wuessing published his History of the German People , a work that was not least aimed at history teachers. This work was characterized on the one hand by the ostentatious commitment to the subjective representation of history and on the other hand by the historical appeal to cooperation across political borders and contradictions.
“Awe of life, of people, and the urge to explore how it has become guided me in my work. This explains the strong socio-ethical impact of this book and its attempt to trace primarily the driving and inhibiting forces of historical development. […]
For internal and external reasons, I […] had the task of following the development of social and political ideas, uncovering the guidelines of historical life, you understand me right: to proceed constructively. [...]
The attempt is also made to grasp and present history as a grown life, as an unfolding organic existence. [...]
History was finally experienced and recreated by me out of a tragic-heroic spirit [...] I searched with all my might to awaken the consciousness of words and thoughts that in each of us only a part of our whole life ever comes to historical reality; that we need the bearers of other social, political and religious attitudes towards life, we do not want to wither from our one-sidedness. "
Wuessing was involved as an expert in history didactics in the Association of Decided School Reformers . Together with Siegfried Kawerau ( SPD ), Fritz Ausländer ( USPD ) and Heinrich Reintjes , Wuessing , who was also non-party, was commissioned to create a new history book. In the synoptic history tables that were created, the authors aimed to give the students an understanding of the connections between socio-economic and political development by comparing various data and facts.
From May 1, 1930, Wuessing taught as a professor of education at the Pedagogical Academy in Kiel , and in the winter semester of 1930/1931 he became director of the Pedagogical Academy in Stettin . At his own request he returned to Reinickendorf on April 1, 1931, for higher education.
Teacher and resistance activist during National Socialism
After the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service Wuessing was the headmaster for teacher demoted and October 1, 1933, the Urban Reform School in Berlin-Hermsdorf added. On September 1, 1941, he was given early retirement.
In 1942 he joined the Mannhart resistance group around the Reinickendorf social democrat Max Klesse . The Mannhart group also wrote leaflets in Russian and French calling for the overthrow of the regime, sabotage, slow work and sick celebrations in order to weaken German arms production. The school director Fritz Schmidt, who was dismissed in 1933 and also belonged to the group, reported after the war that they had met repeatedly to develop constitutional plans and teaching materials for the period after the liberation and to compile material. Wuessing is said to have worked on a history book during this time and buried the manuscripts in the garden for safety reasons.
School principal and textbook author after the Second World War
After the end of the Second World War , Wuessing became director of the former reform grammar school in Hermsdorf, now known as the Georg Herwegh Oberschule. He stayed in this position until Easter 1953. At the same time, he headed the study group of Berlin history teachers.
Wuessing developed a new school book, Ways of the Nations, the first volumes of which were published during the occupation and were widely distributed in the early years of the Federal Republic of Germany . In it he placed German history in the context of European development. If this book was still based on the approach of the reformed pedagogy of the Weimar Republic , this interpretation stepped back again in later textbooks by other authors in favor of an interpretation more strongly committed to the nation state.
- History of the German people from the end of the eighteenth century to the present. A social psychological attempt. 1st edition. Schneider, Berlin 1921.
- German economic life. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- Behind plow and vise. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- About the importance of polarity in history and life. In: The Eternal Revolution. Contributions to the International History Conference of the Federation Decided School Reformers 1925, pp. 145–167.
- About the possibility of absolute value formation in history. In: The Eternal Revolution. 1925, pp. 123-144.
- German history in the context of European development. Pedagogical Publishing House, Berlin 1947.
- The prehistory of Europe. More educational. Publishing house, Schulz, Berlin 1947.
- History of the German people from the end of the 18th century to the end of the 18th century. 1st world war. 2nd Edition. Berthold Schulz educational publisher, Berlin 1947.
- From early Germanic history to the collapse of the Carolingian Empire. Educational publishing house Schulz, Berlin 1947.
- From the Saxon rulers to the fall of the Hohenstaufen. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1948.
- Dissolution of the German Empire - Reformation - Counter Reformation. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1949.
- The Age of Absolutism in Central and Western Europe. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1949.
- Ways of the peoples. History book for German schools. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1950.
- Siegfried Kawerau ao: Synoptic tables for historical work lessons. From the end of the Middle Ages to the present. 1st edition. Schneider, Berlin around 1922.
- Erich Blauert among others: Children's souls. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- Erich Blauert among others: Parents house and neighborhood. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- V. Henry ao: Faith and Personality. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- Peter Kolb among other things: All kinds of stories. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- Arthur Laudien, Fritz Wuessing, Gustav Wenz: From the world of antiquity. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- Wilhelm Oppermann, Gustav Wenz, Fritz Wuessing: From German dialects. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- Gustav Wenz among others: German folk tales. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- Gustav Wenz, Fritz Wuessing: German folk tales. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- Gustav Wenz, Fritz Wuessing, Walter Byer: German poet fairy tales. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- Fritz Wuessing among others: From the German past. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- Fritz Wuessing, Gustav Wenz: German Hort. Cultural reading book for higher schools in individual issues. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1925.
- Gertrud Fauth and others: The woman in the people. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1926.
- Fritz Rücker , Fritz Wuessing, Gustav Wenz: Duty and Fate. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1926.
- Gustav Wenz and others: playmates. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1926.
- Gustav Wenz, Fritz Wuessing: Shield pranks and other strange stories. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1926.
- Gustav Wenz, Fritz Wuessing: Schwänke and purring. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1926.
- Fritz Wuessing, Wilhelm Camphausen, Gustav Wenz: From the New Reich to the World War. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1926.
- Fritz Wuessing, Wilhelm von Diez, Gustav Wenz: In the age of the Reformation and the Thirty Years' War. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1926.
- Fritz Wuessing, Ferdinand Hodler, Gustav Wenz: Freedom and Unity. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1926.
- Fritz Wuessing among others: From Fehrbellin to Waterloo. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1926.
- Fritz Wuessing, Anton von Werner, Gustav Wenz: On the way to the world war. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1926.
- Fritz Wuessing, Matthias Zasinger, Gustav Wenz: In the Middle Ages. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1926.
- Gustav Wenz among others: Nature. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1927.
- Fritz Wuessing among others: In the world war. Quelle & Meyer, Leipzig 1927.
- Adolf Hedler, Fritz Wuessing, Gertrud Bäumer: Freiherr vom Stein. The great, liberal, German statesman. Beltz, Langensalza 1931.
- Arnold Bork, Fritz Wuessing: Cross sections. 6th edition. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1950.
- Richard Dietrich, Fritz Wuessing: Forms and questions of historical life. 6th edition. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1950.
- Waldemar Hoffmann, Georg Schulz, Fritz Wuessing: Ascent. History of Antiquity and the Middle Ages. 61st edition. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1950.
- Margot Krohn, Fritz Wuessing: Introduction to Citizenship. 31st edition. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1950.
- Wilhelm Miethke among others: Towards the modern age. Late Middle Ages and Modern Times up to 1815. 2nd edition. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1950.
- Harald Scherrinsky, Fritz Wuessing: Struggle for freedom. From the end of the Middle Ages to the revolution of 1848. 11th edition. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1950.
- Otto Schulz, Fritz Wuessing: Life in the past. 31st edition. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1950.
- Gertrud Schulze, Fritz Wuessing: Democracy in becoming. History of the most recent times from 1849 to the present day. 21st edition. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1950.
- Friedrich Schmidt, Fritz Wuessing: The age of restoration and liberalism. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1951.
- Martin Stellmann, Fritz Wuessing: From the Congress of Vienna to the present. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1951.
- Agnes von Zahn-Harnack, Fritz Wuessing: Changes in women's life. From the 18th century to the present. Schulz Educational Publishing House, Berlin 1951.
- Fritz Seelig, Fritz Wuessing: European Politics 1919–1950. Educational publishing house Schulz, Berlin 1952.
- Bettina Goldberg: School history as social history. The secondary schools in the Berlin suburb of Hermsdorf (1893–1945). Berlin 1994.
- Alexander Hesse: The professors and lecturers of the Prussian Pedagogical Academies (1926-1933) and universities for teacher training (1933-1941). Weinheim 1995, p. 801 f.
- Bettina Goldberg: School history as social history. The secondary schools in the Berlin suburb of Hermsdorf (1893–1945). Berlin 1994, p. 193.
- Fritz Wuessing: History of the German People Berlin 1921, pp. VII – IX.
- Goldberg: School history as social history. P. 194.
- Falk Pingel: History books between the Empire and the present. 1988, In: Georg Eckert Institute (ed.): Grenzgänger. Articles by Falk Pingel. Göttingen 2010, p. 417f.
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Wuessing, Friedrich; Wuestling, Fritz (maiden name)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German historian, educator and school reformer|
|DATE OF BIRTH||July 30, 1888|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Coswig (Anhalt)|
|DATE OF DEATH||October 18, 1980|
|Place of death||gain|